By Roy W. Urrico
Reduce, reuse and recycle—the three R’s that have become part of everyday life—have made their way to the credit union frontlines and back offices. For many financial institutions cash handling today is still a necessary but a manual and labor-intensive process. Based on findings from the 2012 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice study, 12 percent of cash withdrawals alone occur within the branches and through teller lines. Many credit unions rely on physically counting cash for those transactions as well as deposits, and tellers and member-service representatives spend the majority of their time counting cash (and recounting it for accuracy) versus utilizing their time to interact with members. That is why some credit unions seek help from cash recyclers —devices that automate certain back office cash handling functions, such as till preparation and end of day accounting and balancing, as well as front-line responsibilities like cash dispensing. The benefits of cash automation include reduced costs, improved transaction speed, improved security and cash balances control.
“A big factor is the ability to do more with the less,” says Andrew Rowe, Associate Vice President of ARCA, which provides cash and coin dispenser solutions. Credit unions are able to streamline operations at the teller level, plus eliminate dual controls that cause many credit unions to staff more positions. Adds Rowe, “If you are able to do more with less and go to a universal employee approach it is more appealing. Traffic is not what it was ten years ago. Everybody is looking to save money where they can with operations.”